Persecution of philosophers  

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Philosophers throughout the history of philosophy have been persecuted in courts and tribunals for various offenses, often as a result of their philosophical activity, and some have even been put to death. The most famous example of a philosopher being put on trial is the case of Socrates, who was tried for, amongst other charges, corrupting the youth and impiety.



The trial of Socrates took place in 399 BC. Attended by the Ancient Greek philosophers Plato (who was a student of Socrates') and Xenophon, it resulted in the death of Socrates, who was sentenced to drink the poison hemlock. The trial is chronicled in the Platonic dialogues Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, and Phaedo.

Giordano Bruno

Giordano Bruno was a famous Italian philosopher and astronomer who was well-known as a proponent of heliocentrism and the infinity of the universe. He held that the sun was one amongst an infinite number of stars. Due to his atheism and controversial views, he was burned at the stake by the Roman Inquisition.

Tommaso Campanella

Tommaso Campanella was confined to a convent for his heretical views, namely, an opposition to the authority of Aristotle. Later, he then spent twenty-seven years imprisoned in a castle during which he wrote his most famous works, including The City of the Sun.

Baruch Spinoza

Baruch Spinoza, a Jewish philosopher, was excommunicated from the Nation of Israel for his pantheistic views of God and his claim that God is part of a deterministic system.

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